Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Books and Random Conversations

I had an appointment to go to yesterday morning before heading to work, and as usual, I brought a book along to pass the waiting time.  This time it was a novel called Words by Ginny L. Yttrup, which I will likely write about in the near future.  I was sitting in a large waiting room, all alone, when a man walks in, pauses in front of me, as I'm focused on my book and strikes up a conversation.  "That's something you never see anymore!"

I look up and he explains how long it had been since he had seen a person, especially a young one reading a physical book in a waiting room.  Apparently tablets are becoming a lot more popular than paper.  In the 20 minutes or so that followed, I had discussions with three complete strangers about the direction of the book and music industries, e-readers, cell phones, other technology, teenagers and social etiquette.  I left feeling inspired and filled with joy that carried me through the rest of the day.

I'm amazed at the discovery I just made.  I never would have thought that something so small and seemingly insignificant could lead to something so meaningful.  The book I was reading was of no significance.  It was simply the fact that I was reading a paper book.  Maybe the fact that I was young, dressed for work and looking preppy had more to do with it.  I really don't know.  But a book for me produced an opportunity.

In 20 minutes, I had a chance to share my perspective with individuals much older than myself.  I had a chance to show them that there are teens out there who think differently than the rest of the world.  I had a chance to put a smile on their faces.  I had a chance to share what I've been learning and why I have made some of the decisions I have.  I left feeling not only inspired, but also that what I have to say really does matter.

Here's what I have to tell my readers.  The small, seemingly insignificant things you do matter, even if you'd rather use a Kindle over paper.  Your choices in all areas of life hold the power to impact.  Don't be afraid to be counter cultural. When opportunities present themselves, don't be afraid to share your perspective.  Even if you don't have a chance to share the Gospel, if they can see that your life is different, that you're not following the norm, you never know what kind of seeds you may plant and what fruit they may later produce.

Why do I read physical books?  Because I simply love a physical book.  I prefer to read off of paper than a glaring screen.  Don't get me wrong. I use my computer a lot and make use of the countless online resources available to me.  Although some people have encouraged me to purchase a Kindle, I'm not quite ready for that. Yes, the idea of being able to carry my whole library around in my purse is enticing, but I still love seeing books on a shelf.  Books are meant to be shared.  Technology has provided alternatives for so many things, and I love it, but I'm not quite ready to let go of my books.

Here are a couple of articles I wrote that I used in my conversations yesterday.  Who would have thought the ideas I ponder on my blog could prove to be so useful in everyday life?
Why I Don't Have a Cell Phone
New Trends in Education

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